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Leaked Documents Reveal Trump Trade Deal Threat To Farmers in Kent

November 30, 2019 7:49 PM
By Medway Liberal Democrats - Alan Wells

farmingLeaked documents from US-UK trade deal talks have revealed the threat facing farmers in Kent from a trade deal with Donald Trump, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

Alan Bullion, Liberal Democrat candidate for Rainham and Gillingham has written to Conservatives, calling on them to make a "cast-iron" guarantee to vote against any lowering of UK food standards that could put local farmers at risk.

It comes after documents published online yesterday revealed years of talks between UK and US trade negotiators, with American officials pushing to allow greater use of chemicals in food production, including chlorine-washing chicken. The US team even offered 'public lines' on chlorine-washed chicken to help UK officials try to sell the controversial practice to British consumers and help 'inform the media narrative'.

The US negotiators also said that maintaining the UK's current high standards for food production was 'the worst-case scenario', adding that in a no deal Brexit there would be 'all to play for.'

Alan Bullion said: "These documents show that a Donald Trump post-Brexit trade deal poses a grave threat to farmers across Kent. The US has far lower animal welfare and food standards, especially on the use of chemicals and growth hormones. The Conservative party's desperation for a US trade deal would open the door to these lower food standards being forced onto the UK.

"Farming communities around the Medway Towns are rightly concerned about being undercut by low-standard imports from the US and losing access to vital European markets.

" The Conservatives candidate must make a cast-iron guarantee they will vote against any attempts to lower our world-leading food standards as part of a trade deal with Trump.

"The Liberal Democrats will stand up for local farmers and stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal. Every vote here will make a difference in stopping Johnson getting a majority and making sure he is held to account."


Notes to editors:

Letter below

Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have talked in this election about getting Brexit done, but he hasn't given any details about what Britain's trading relationships will look like post-Brexit and what this will mean for our local communities.

The documents published yesterday on trade negotiations so far between the UK and US have revealed some of the key issues at stake, including for our world-leading food standards and local farming industry. US negotiators have said maintaining the UK's current high standards for food production was 'the worst-case scenario', and are offering advice to help sell chlorinated chicken to the British public.

At the same time, it has become increasingly clear that Boris Johnson's won't be able to meet his promise to get a new trade deal with the EU by 2020, meaning the UK is likely to crash out without a deal next year.

Voters in our community and those working in the farming industry will rightly be deeply concerned about these documents and the threat posed by a Donald Trump trade deal. They deserve to have answers to the important crucial questions:

  • Can you give a cast-iron guarantee that you will vote against any attempts to lower UK food standards as part of a trade deal with Donald Trump?
  • What will you do to ensure British farmers are protected in future trade negotiations with the US?
  • Will you rule out backing a 'no deal' exit from the EU in 2020 that would mean local farmers are hit with crippling tariffs if they want to sell into the EU?

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Documents published this week can be found here.

Additional Notes for Editors:

Alan Bullion works in London for a publishing company and commutes from High Brooms station, where he successfully campaigned for a second ticket machine, as well as more capacity and fairer fares for rail and bus travellers. Alan is a former school Governor and pupil of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, and is chair of its Alumni society.

Alan has long been active on a number of issues, such as defending recreation and sports facilities against development. Delivering additional school places and keeping social care to support older people.

Alan has focused on issues such as safer streets and 20mph zones, especially around schools and building up care at local hospitals. Alan also is a great believer in life-long learning, having done degrees with the Open University and Southampton as a mature student.